Thursday, December 27, 2007

South Africa Weather & When to Go

Summer in South African lasts from October to February. It is generally hot, often with convection thundershowers in the late afternoon, which clear quickly to reveal pleasant evenings.
Autumn or fall in South Africa is February to April. It is generally warm and dry with days getting shorter and the temperature cooling as it gets closer to winter.
Winter in South Africa is May to July. It is generally dry and cool, with light snow falling in the Drakensburg mountains. The Cape is however wet as it gets most of its rain in winter.
August to October is spring time and the weather can be good, although rain is common.

Best time for various activities:
The best time for beach weather is late spring to early Autumn. Mid summer has the hottest weather, but is also the busiest time. Kwa Zulu Natal is the best place to spend a beach holiday in winter because of the Mozambican current flowing down the Eastern Coast.

Namaqualand flowers in the Western and Northern Cape are best seen in Spring - September

Whale watching season is from June to the end of October.

The best seasons for hiking are spring and autumn as the weather is the mildest. Summer can be very hot and have violent thunder storms while winter snowstorms can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Most people agree that winter is the best time to go on Safari as the foliage is sparse and the animals are easier to spot. Being the dry season the animals also need to go to the waterholes offering better game viewing, it is also more comfortable for us humans as it is not hot.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gourmet dining by rail

Romantic five-star dining on rails at Victoria Falls is now possible with Bushtracks Africa’s Victoria Falls Steam railways.
Guests will be picked up from the Royal Livingstone Hotel in luxury vehicles and be taken to the railway siding to board the train.The 15km journey begins in Livingstone through the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, and continues along one of the most historic railway lines in Africa to a viewing point above the Zambezi River. Passengers can disembark to enjoy traditional entertainment while viewing the sunset over the river.Guests have pre-dinner drinks in the lounge or observation cars before enjoying a six course meal, prepared and served by Sun International’s Royal Livingston, in the dining carriages. This superb dining experience should not be missed.
The five carriages of the Royal Livingstone Express have been renovated by Rovos Rail.The cost per person of R985.00 includes the six course meal with wines, beers and soft drinks. The train will be available for private hire.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Travel Insurance Tips.

  1. Ensure medical coverage and emergency medical evacuation insurance are included in the travel insurance policy.
  2. Insure against the unexpected. Trip cancellation insurance will pay for any non-refundable travel costs.
  3. Shop around to get the travel insurance policy that best fits your needs.
  4. Don’t just compare the prices of travel insurance policies, also compare the benefits of the cover, what it excludes and product features.
  5. Keep the international helpline number and a copy of the policy with you at all times.
    Check what the reimbursement terms are.
  6. Does the insurance require you to pay upfront for medical bills then reimburse them, or does the policy kick in immediately?
  7. When deciding on a policy make sure you know what activities it doesn’t cover, e.g. certain sports.
  8. Ensure you understand what you can expect in terms of reimbursement. In particular, look out for the maximum amount you can claim on individual items.
  9. Check whether you are covered for loss as well as theft.
  10. Keep records (receipts) of any expensive items you are planning to take with you, e.g. cameras, expensive jewellery, etc.
  11. Report all theft or loss quickly. You should report any lost or stolen goods immediately to the local police, hotel management and travel representative. If a bag is lost or stolen at the airport, report it immediately get a receipt from the airline or baggage handler.
    Natalia Thompson TNW

Thursday, December 13, 2007

World Travel Awards

THE winners of the 14th World Travel Awards have been announced and several Southern African products are featured on the list.

South African Tourism's website, was named the World's Leading Tourist Information Website. (on which Go Safari is listed)

Other awards for Southern African operators included:
The Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa (Johannesburg)- World's Leading Boutique Hotel

Rovos Rail's Pride of Africa - World's Leading Luxury Train
Shamwari Game Reserve (Eastern cape) – World's Leading Safari & Game Reserve

To view the full list of winners, visit

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Malaria Helpline

IGNORANCE and misinformation about malaria as well as delays in seeking appropriate treatment inspired GlaxoSmithKline, a leading pharmaceutical and healthcare company, to fund an independent Malaria Helpline
0861 MOZZIE (0861 66 99 43) for local travellers or +27 861 MOZZIE for international travellers.
The launch of 0861 MOZZIE is aimed at providing information about malaria based on current local and international malaria recommendations. “It's not only tourists and visitors to the African continent who need information about malaria, it's the vast majority of travelling South Africans as well”, said Elvis Mokoena, corporate affairs manager at GSK.
Says Dr Jaco Folmer, medical director at SAA Netcare Travel Clinics: “The hotline will provide a platform to travellers from where they can get the correct information and take the necessary precautions or alternatively seek the correct medical advice when showing symptoms”, said Folmer.